Some Ontario Liberals ditch party's red colour on campaign signs, flyers
Some Ontario Liberal candidates are handing out flyers and putting up signs that don’t have the party’s traditional red. A communications professor says that it points to just how worried some Liberals are that they could lose in Thursday’s election.
Ottawa South candidate John Fraser, who won in a landslide in the riding formerly held by premier Dalton McGuinty, has posted yellow and black signs that state “STOP Doug Ford Vote John Fraser,” and “Only John Fraser Can Stop Doug Ford.”
“The signs are a call to action to say, if you don’t want Doug Ford in the premier’s office, then I need your support on June 7 so I can do that,” Fraser told CTV Ottawa.
Fraser also shared the results of a poll that he said was conducted in the riding, which shows the Progressive Conservative candidate, Karin Howard, with a slight lead over Fraser, and NDP candidate Elanor Fast far behind the other two.
“I have been getting questions at the door on how people should vote strategically to Stop Doug Ford,” Fraser said when she shared the poll on Twitter. “Here are the facts.”
Christopher Waddell, a professor of journalism and communications at Carleton University in Ottawa, said Fraser’s signs are evidence of Fraser trying to distance himself from a party that has been tanking in the polls.
“Clearly the Liberals are worried in a riding where, at the start of a campaign, we would have thought they shouldn't have been worried at all,” Waddell said.
Howard, meanwhile, said she thinks the signs are a “dirty trick” to “scare people or manipulate people to vote a certain way.”
Voters in Toronto have also noticed that some local candidates appearing to ditch red, in at least some of their communications.
In Beaches-East York, Liberal candidate Arthur Potts put out a flyer with an all-green background, that states “REAL RESULTS FOR OUR ENVIRONMENT.” Potts narrowly beat the NDP candidate in the 2014 election.
Paul Bell, who just moved to the neighbourhood, said he received the flyer in his mailbox on Tuesday and believes it’s a “loathsome” attempt by Potts to distance himself for the Liberals’ unpopular leader, Kathleen Wynne.
“Holy cow, for him to be turning around and running as some kind of fake Green?” Bell said. “I find it loathesome.”
Potts said on Twitter that there is a “big Liberal logo right there on the back page,” and added that he is “one of only eight candidates provincewide endorsed by GreenPAC.” Whether the Liberal logo is “big” is certainly debatable.
For some candidates, the apparent downplaying of the Liberal brand isn’t new. Earlier in May, a local newspaper noted that Markham-Unionville candidate Amanda Yeung Collucci posted signs that were missing the word Liberal altogether.
With a report from CTV Ottawa